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24 April 2017: Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is on hand to help with enquiries about Universal Credit in Hinckley & Bosworth

Universal Credit rolled out in full across Hinckley and Bosworth in March 2017.

Universal Credit is a new benefit which helps people on a low income or not in work meet their living costs. It combines six benefits, including Housing Benefit and Working Tax Credit, into a single monthly payment.

Before March, Universal Credit was only available to single jobseekers in Hinckley and Bosworth, but from 1 March 2017 parents, couples and people who can’t work because of their health who make a new claim also receive it.  

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is highlighting what changes have taken effect, namely around how Universal Credit is paid, so help people get used to the changes.

The three changes Citizens Advice LeicesterShire says people need to be aware of are:

  • Universal Credit payments are made in arrears once at the end of the month, rather than being paid every week.
  • Payments will go straight into a claimant’s bank account. This means people may need to set up their own standing orders for expenses like rent if it was paid directly to their landlord under the old Housing Benefit system.
  • New Universal Credit applications, and any change in your circumstances, need to be made online.

Richard Evans, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice LeicesterShire, said:

“Universal Credit is the biggest ever change to benefit system, so it’s important people get support while they get used to the new system.

“Most of the queries we’ve helped with so far have focused on people wanting to know how Universal Credit works and how to apply.

“We can help people at every stage of the application process – from guiding someone through the online application form, or offering budgeting advice to help people best manage their monthly payment.

“Anyone with a question or concern should get in touch with us at the earliest chance so we can help them get used to being on Universal Credit.”